CLAIRE JACOBI | STAFF REPORTER
With the first official week of practice under its belt, the Butler University women’s basketball team is ready for the new season to begin.
The Bulldogs are focusing heavily on leadership this season as they look ahead to their first exhibition game against Marian University Nov. 1. Another exhibition game will follow on Nov. 8 against Walsh University, with the first official game of the season Nov. 13 against Valparaiso University.
Head coach Kurt Godlevske is in his second season with Butler. Last season, he led the Bulldogs to a 14-16 overall record, including a 10-8 record in the Big East Conference.
“We’re a lot deeper than what we were last year,” Godlevske said. “I expect a higher level of execution from our ladies. Anytime you get more and more repetition and more used to what you’re trying to run, you expect that efficiency level to go up.”
The return of seniors Blaire Langlois, Belle Obert and Andriana Moore and their leadership will be a key to the Bulldogs’ success in the upcoming season. The Bulldog roster is on the younger side this season, as it welcomes five freshmen.
“Our three seniors have the experience and knowledge of what it takes to be successful,” Godlevske said. “If our seniors do what they’re supposed to do and guide the freshmen in the direction we need to go, we think we can have a lot of success because they really do compliment each other on the floor with their skill sets.”
“As a team, because we’re so young, I think it’s a matter of using all our talent and figuring out how to put it all together,” Obert said. “We have a lot of talent but because we’re young we haven’t gotten a chance to play a whole lot together.”
As for the leadership role of the seniors, Langlois said she believes it is their job to help guide the freshmen as they adjust to Butler.
“We’re a really young group,” Langlois said. “So I think it’s important for us to set a good example and be there for the freshmen on and off the court, whether it’s for school, practice or getting accommodated to college.”
Langlois and sophomore Sydney Buck were the only two players to start in all 30 games last season. Langlois set a school record on Feb. 15 when she made nine three-pointers against Georgetown University.
Obert joined the team last year after playing volleyball for Butler for four years. She came four games into the season and ended up being a starter for 24 of her 26 games played. She led the Big East Conference in shots blocked and finished 24th in the country for blocked shots per game.
Butler will play five of its first seven games of the conference season at Hinkle Fieldhouse and will host three nationally televised games this season, two of which come against conference foes.
The Big East home opener will be at home against Villanova Dec. 29, and two days later Butler will host Georgetown at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
“I definitely want to win the Big East,” Langlois said. “That’s a big team goal and that’s definitely a personal goal. If we win the Big East, we’ll make the NCAA tournament and I haven’t accomplished that in these four years.”
The Bulldogs will host Marian University in an exhibition game Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.